One of the biggest challenges for clients who are in hyper-competitive spaces is standing out amongst their competition. Especially when these competitors are selling similar or in many cases, the same products. In ad copy testing, there are often conflicting metrics around what semantically works to drive traffic. Beyond just the psychology and linguistics, an ad’s success is truly a multivariate consideration. As digital marketers, we must continuously evolve to break through the white noise and ad over-saturation to find new strategies that work. One drastically underutilized strategy that we employ and see consistent success in is the utilization of trademark symbols in headlines of ads and descriptions. Regardless of verticals that our clients compete in, we have seen consistently solid results through use of trademarking in ad copy. Particularly, we began to notice this in one clients of ours that works in the hyper-competitive E-commerce clothing space.


Client: E-commerce Retailer

This client distributes their products through a large retail store and their off-price retail division that offers their clothing at discount prices.  With seemingly endless ad spend, the large retail store was clearly dominating the SERP, constantly running ads that highlighted selling this client’s products at dramatically lower prices. From a consumer perspective, clicking on the ad with discounted products was a no-brainer.  We needed a way to differentiate the client from their competition.  Since they owned their own registered trademark, we began utilizing the symbol in ad headlines and descriptions.


The ad on top in the screenshot above includes trademark symbols while the bottom one does not. In analyzing the ads over the past 90 days, the performance comparison is dramatically in favor of the version with trademark symbols.  Both ads served similarly in terms of impressions, but the trademark symbol version completely eclipsed the other in engagement, cpc, and most importantly, transactions.

All in all, trademark symbols are currently not being utilized to their fullest potential in search ads. They may be just what you need to pull ahead of the competition. At the very least, they deserve to be tested in ad variants. Stay tuned as we continue to explore and innovate our approaches to paid search, to boldly go where no agency has gone before.